How To Keep Cats Teeth Clean Without Brushing: 5 Alternatives

Cats are natural groomers, but they can’t clean their mouths. As the owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your cat’s dental health is in check. But what if you don’t have the time to brush your kitty’s teeth? In this post, I will discuss some ways on how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing all the time. You only need some supplies and patience to keep your kitty’s mouth clean.

How To Keep Cats Teeth Clean Without Brushing?

Keeping your cat’s teeth clean without brushing daily is possible. There are many products made for cats’ dental health, so it should be very easy to find substitutes.

how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing

Also, we know that cats are not as cooperative as dogs when it comes to brushing. For fidgety kitties, brushing may not be possible at all. In that case, you have to explore other methods.

Below are some of the things I use for my kitten Watson on days when I can’t brush his teeth:

how to keep a cats teeth clean

1. Apply dental gel made for cats

Cat dental gels are antiseptic gels used to help prevent stomatitis, plaque buildup, and periodontal disease. It’s like toothpaste, but there’s no brushing needed.

You only have to apply about two drops on your cat’s mouth and let it lick. The licking reaction will help spread the gel all over your cat’s mouth. You should also refrain from giving your cat food or water for 30 minutes after applying the gel.

Take note that dental gel for cats is formulated for felines. It’s edible and not like any toothpaste or dental gels you can find in the market.

2. Utilize cat teeth cleaning treats

Another effective way to clean your cat’s teeth without brushing is by giving it some cat dental treats. Unlike the typical treats, these are formulated with breath-freshening ingredients. It also has ingredients added to neutralize bacteria and prevent bad breath. Please read here: Why Do Yorkies Have Bad Breath

Dental treats are very easy to administer and can be given every day. It’s also a great form of reward if you’re training your cat. Still, you should never overindulge your cat with these treats since it’s still a source of calories.

3. Use a water additive

Many veterinarians swear by water additives in solving halitosis among cats. It’s a formula that you can add to your cat’s water bowl.

As your cat drinks, the formula cleanses its mouth. This is safe to ingest and can come flavored to encourage your kitty to drink more.

Water additives will help reduce the formation of tartar and plaque. It will also give your cat a nice breath.

There’s no brushing needed when you use water additives. Still, you must consult the vet first before using any water additive for cats.

In rare cases, some cats may have sensitivities to the ingredients of a specific water additive product.

4. Give some dental toys

Aside from using gels and additives, you can also make playtime more productive for your cat. I suggest getting some dental toys that your cat can safely chew. As your kitty chews on it, the toy scrapes the tartar off their teeth. Please read here: Is Your Cat Chewing On Nothing

Dental chew toys for cats can also be flavored to encourage the feline to chew more. Take note that you should never give dog chew toys to cats. Those are stiff and will damage your feline’s small teeth.

Also, you must supervise your cat every time you will give a chew toy. Although most of it is safe, there’s still a choking risk to it. Being present will let you intervene even before your cat swallows and chokes on a toy.

5. Consider dry food

Dry food is actually better than wet food if we consider the dental health aspect. Kibble or dry food is crunchy, therefore scraping some tartar as your cat chews it.

Unlike wet food, dry food is less likely to cause plaque buildup. Still, you should observe proper dental health measures to keep your cat’s teeth in check.

You can also find cat food shaped especially to remove tartar off a feline’s teeth. Some are even infused with breath-freshening ingredients. 

Do you have to clean the cat’s teeth regularly?

Yes, it’s important to clean a cat’s teeth regularly. Brushing is the top option, but there are alternatives if your cat doesn’t seem to like the brush.

It is important to know how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing because some cats don’t like brushing. 

Aside from using various dental products for your cat, you should also consult the vet regularly.

In general, cats need professional cleaning once a year. This helps remove hidden tartar that dental products alone can’t remove.

However, if you notice your cat is suffering from bad breath and discolored teeth, you may need to bring it to the vet.

These are signs of dental problems that must be addressed immediately. Otherwise, your cat will suffer from pain and discomfort. Dental products and brushing won’t suffice in this condition.

How to scrape tartar off cats’ teeth?

Is your cat suffering from tartar buildup? If you act early, you can remove the tartar and prevent it from causing further dental problems in your cat.

Brushing is a very effective way to remove tartar from your cat’s teeth. You should also use cat toothpaste to wash away any food bits and bacteria in your cat’s mouth.

However, if the tartar is deep-seated and has solidified, it’s best to ask the vet for professional cleaning. Scraping it with hard objects at home will only hurt your kitty. My friend once tried doing it on his cat, and they ended up in the emergency room of the vet.

Tips to prevent dental problems in cats

Cleaning your cat’s teeth is imperative for dental health. Being proactive is key to preventing dental problems that will cause pain to your cat and burden on your pocket. Instead of waiting for dental problems to erupt, you must perform these preventive steps:

how to prevent dental problems in cats

  • Clean regularly. If possible, you should brush your cat’s mouth at least twice a week. If you can’t manage it, you should use dental gels, water additives, or dental chews as alternatives. Like us, our cats also need to keep their mouths clean.
  • Professional check-ups. Aside from proper dental hygiene at home, you should also bring your kitty to the vet once a year for dental checks.  This is to spot any problems that you didn’t see at home. While these checks cost a fee, it’s much lower than paying for treatment later on.
  • Watch out for symptoms. Acting fast is key to preventing minor dental problems from becoming a bigger health concern. If you notice a change in your cat’s breath, teeth, and eating habits, you should consult with the vet.
  • Mind the diet. The food we give our cats has an impact on their dental health. Avoid smelly food that can cause bad breath as well as food that may damage the cat’s gums and teeth. If your cat requires a special diet, you should consult the vet.


Knowing how to keep cats teeth clean without brushing is very important. This will ensure that your kitty’s dental health is in check even if you have a busy schedule and can’t take time out for proper brushing.

There are very easy ways to do this with the right supplies and advice from the vet. Make sure you use products made specifically for felines, that too after approval from your vet. 

Nevertheless, you should take your cat to the vet for yearly dental checks to diagnose problems as it arises.

I hope the information I shared will help you take better care of your cat’s dental health. Thank you for reading!

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